Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz star shooting guard who has been linked to the Knicks in recent trade rumors, took the field on Sunday to toss the opening pitch of a Brooklyn Cyclones game.
The move is sure to excite Knicks fans, who have been salivating at the idea of bringing the 25-year-old to Madison Square Garden next season — as the New York native would make the team a legitimate playoff contender.
Donovan Mitchell is throwing out the first pitch for the Brooklyn Cyclones tonight. pic.twitter.com/pDjRkHOtCW
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) July 16, 2022
The 6’1” guard also took batting practice before the minor league game, and the Cyclones gave Mitchell-themed bobbleheads out to fans in attendance of their 6–2 victory over Greensboro.
Fans at Maimonides Park reportedly began playfully heckling Mitchell to recruit him to MSG, which drew a grin from the 25-year-old, according to the New York Post.
His opening pitch from the mound reached home plate on a fly for a solid strike.
Mitchell, who has made the playoffs each of his five years in the NBA, and has been named to three All Star games, grew up in Elmsford, just a few miles from the Bronx, and has publicly stuck to his New York roots as a professional baller.
His father, Donovan Mitchell Sr., played minor league baseball, and currently works in the front office of the New York Mets.
For more coverage of Donovan Mitchell and the Knicks, head to amNY.com.
Those connections to the Big Apple added fuel to the trade-rumor fire when the Utah Jazz reportedly began fielding calls from other franchises involving a potential deal for Mitchell. That came after the team sent fellow star Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves earlier this month in exchange for a haul of draft picks.
NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Knicks front office was in talks with Utah about a potential deal.
Any trade would require the Knicks to offer up significant compensation, including multiple future draft picks and young players. The team could offer some combination of their nine first-round picks over the next five drafts, along with youthful ballers like Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes.
Bringing Mitchell on board would pair him alongside newly-signed point guard Jalen Brunson, along with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett (assuming he is not included in a deal).